Blackout Mere 'Glitch' for NYC Production

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Last week's blackout proved to be little more than an inconvenience for New York's commercials production industry, according to the players contacted today. Factors mitigating the disruption included its timing -- August is the most popular vacation month in the industry -- and the fact that it came late in the week. "Friday in the summer is often an off day or a half day anyway, and since it happened late on Thursday, it was a minor inconvenience," says David Perry, head of production at Saatchi & Saatchi/New York.

Ken Yagoda, head of production at Young & Rubicam, says he had one job wrap just before the outage and another slated for Friday that was delayed until Saturday, but no major problems. "It wasn't significant for us, it wasn't huge," he says. "Everyone remained so calm and in such good spirits, it made up for any inconvenience that might have happened."

Manhattan production companies, meanwhile, say some pre-production plans and conference calls had to be delayed because of the outage, but that the effects were not far-reaching, particularly for bicoastals like Chelsea Pictures and Partizan. "What helped us was having an L.A. office to take up some of the slack," says Chelsea's Alva French. "It didn't adversely affect our business or our production." Partizan executive producer Steve Dickstein concurs, "I think this was a glitch, but it doesn't affect the outlook of the advertising or production business."

Saatchi's Perry reports that the one job he had going on in the area -- an outdoor shoot in New Jersey fueled, as is common practice, by its own generator -- may have been one of the few things that went on despite the blackout. "We probably could have sold the generator for a lot of money that day," he observes.

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